The first week of college football has come and gone, and every ACC team played their first game. A lot of cupcake eating took place, and it's important to not draw too many conclusions from the first week, but we're going to try and do some ranking anyways
1. Georgia Tech (Alcorn St - W 69-6)
The Jackets did everything they were expected to do against a far inferior opponent. They had 34 points at the end of the first quarter, at which point the game was long over. Thomas only threw the ball four times and freshman back Marcus Marshall had a huge debut.
2a. Clemson (Wofford – W 49-10)
Clemson led 35-7 at the half and pretty much coasted to a 49-10 win over Wofford. Watson only threw four incompletions. This game told us very little about the Tigers, which is true for so many teams this week
2b. Florida State (Texas St – W 59-16)
Florida State’s first game featured the good Golson, who threw for four touchdowns without an interception. Dalvin Cook surprised nobody by running for a bunch of yards. The Seminoles will be a playoff contender if Golson doesn’t have the turnover issues he had last season.
4. Louisville (Auburn – L 24-31)
Louisville’s late comeback wasn’t enough to topple the Tigers. Auburn led by 21 with seven minutes to go before two late rushing touchdowns got the game down to seven. This was probably the second toughest team an ACC team played this week, and the Cardinals get some cred for that.
5. Duke (Tulane – W 37-7)
Expect the Blue Devils to contend for second place in the Coastal this year. Cutcliffe has proven that he can do a lot without a great deal of talent, and Duke's talent level is only getting better. Their defense played well against Tulane, shutting them out until the fourth quarter.
6. NC State (Troy – W 49-21)
The offense was very efficient in their opening 49-21 win against Troy. They ran the ball very well and scored on sustained drives. The defense was inconsistent, making great plays at times and sleepwalking at others. It’s tough to grade them though because it’s tough to say how far along Troy’s new offensive system is.
7. Virginia Tech (Ohio St – L 24-42)
The Hokies would be a lot higher if we were talking about the improved play of quarterback Michael Brewer right now, but instead we're talking about how he will be sidelined for multiple weeks. The offense sputtered after seventeen unanswered points in the second as a result of his injury. The defense allowed a lot of points to a very good offense.
8a. Miami (Bethune-Cookman - W 45-0)
Miami dominated a warm-up game and this won’t help us understand how good they are. Bethune-Cookman won nine games last year, for whatever that’s worth.
8b. UNC (Carolina - L 13-17)
The defense looked much improved, but the offense struggled (raise your hand if you expected that), blowing multiple scoring opportunities in a game they probably feel they should’ve won. Williams will need to be better but they could be good if the defense is truly improving.
10. Pittsburgh (Youngstown St – W 45-37)
Pitt got some horrible news when it was announced that superstar running back James Conner was lost for the season. All may not be lost though as they got a 207 yard contribution form backup Qadree Ollison. It would be a huge boost for the Panthers is they could count on Ollison to do James Conner type things, but for now all we know is that they struggled to pull away from FCS opponent Youngstown St.
11. Boston College (Maine – W 24-3)
This game doesn’t sound like it was very exciting. BC led 10-3 at the start of the 4th quarter. We’ll stick with BC 11th, but you could probably arrange these bottom five teams any way you wanted and justify it after the first week.
12. Virginia (UCLA – L 16-34)
Virginia had a rough outing at UCLA, scoring their only touchdown late in the fourth quarter. They’re probably still better than the teams behind them.
13. Wake Forest (Elon – W 41-3)
Wake found some offense! The Deacs scored 41 points and Wolford threw three touchdowns and ran a 70 yarder. This is a good sign, but we cannot confirm if this is a result of Wake’s improved offense, or Wake’s improved scheduling of Elon. Elon is not good
14. Syracuse (Rhode Island – W 47-0)
Syracuse ran over an awful Rhode Island team, but lost starting quarterback Terrell Hunt for the season. Good news seems to have evaded the Orange recently and this could be a rough season.